Relient K – Five Score & Seven Years Ago

  • Bobby Gorman posted
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Relient K

Five Score & Seven Years Ago - Capitol Records

I’ve always liked Relient K. There’s something in their whimsical little pop-punk tunes that you just can’t help but bop your head along with. The first single off their fifth album, Relient K continue that trend; unfortunately though, the rest of Five Score & Seven Years Ago doesn’t quite live up to the expectations.

Of course, that’s not saying that the album is bad – far from it; it’s just that it’s not quite as good as it could have been. Instead of being upbeat and catchy, Five Score comes out too polished and slightly over-produced. Throughout it all, the band seems to trying to experiment and expand their sound, trying out a plethora of new instruments from organs to toy pianos and french horns. But by expanding their sound, Relient K seem to be leaving behind what they did best: fun pop-punk melodies. Instead, Five Score is filled up with long, piano driven songs without an energetic feel to them. So for every I’m Taking You With Me, you get a Give Until There’s Nothing Left and Forgiven to smother the energy that was previously brought on by the initial track. It all adds up for a relatively long album, and the fact that it’s fourteen tracks doesn’t help deter that opinion. It gets to the point that once it you get to Deathbed, you’re ready to press stop which is unfortunate because the eleven minute closer actually has a few decent moments in it once you get past the opening few minutes.

What probably makes it worse is that it’s not as if they can’t successfully experiment either. Look at Faking My Own Suicide which sees them going for a folksy twang merged with their regular pop-punk cleanliness and you can see that if they didn’t feel the need for the slow piano melody that they could make the songs quite entertaining. However, the band hasn’t left their roots behind completely. Crayons Can Melt On Us For All I Care still sees the band uses their comical sense of humor to good use and tracks like Bite My Tongue, Come Right Out And Say It and The Best Thing are all great pop-punk tracks that could have fit into almost any of the band’s earlier albums. It’s just that there’s too few of those tracks on it.

Really, this album is oddly hit and miss for a band has well grounded as Relient K. While there is a definite Relient K feel to all the tracks, the album is still uneven and fails to really flow. If they just punched the piano up a notch (like on mmhmm‘s Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been) they’d be set. I just hope that by the time they are set to record their sixth album they won’t be as inclined to experiment with mellow sounds and just keep in the pop-punk style that they perfected earlier in their career.